And the Academy selected:
- Penelope Cruz in Nine
- Vera Farmiga in Up In The Air
- Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
- Anna Kendrick in Up In The Air
- Mo'Nique in Precious: Based On The Novel By Sapphire
5. Penelope Cruz as Carla in Nine
Penelope Cruz, for some reason, had to be nominated once again the very next year after winning an undeserved Oscar - here she plays typical Cruz, a sexy, suicidal drama queen who can't speak English. I'm so sick of watching her shtick played over and over again, her big number probably secured her nomination, but it's dreadful in form and ghastly non-worthy of a nomination.
4. Anna Kendrick as Natalie Keener in Up In The Air
Anna Kendrick's performance as young power hungry Natalie might have been better had it had better writing and played by someone else other then Anna Kendrick. She tries to play broad comedy, mixed with intelligent sensibilities and the results are expectantly off. It's a tough role to pull off in a bad movie, and she just isn't up to the challenge.
3. Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jean Craddock in Crazy Heart
She's just too good to be in such a mediocre mess. The character of Jean is so badly constructed that Maggie can barely do anything to make her more then just a plot device or the 'woman'. Obviously, her talent shines through in many scenes, and it's obvious she is doing the best she can with what she is given. The ending result though however is not that impressive.
2. Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran in Up In The Air
Another person who is largely affected by her movie is Vera Farmiga, playing the mysteriously down to earth Alex. She is the movie for me, giving it the only ray of light - showing much depth in a character that may or may not have had it in the first place. Still, she is effected from the overall blehness of the film - disappearing from time to time, and me wishing she was back on.
1. Mo'Nique as Mary Jones in Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
In the end, there is nothing that can beat her - the shocking horror that Mo'Nique brings to the screen is astonishing. She commands the screen with her fat fist, always ready to punch the viewer whenever we least expect it. Many tout her last scene (which is far and away one of the best scenes ever in this category) but early on, she shows how much hatred and unreal terror the character of Mary has bottled up inside her, finally cracking at the end, and again, keeping it bottled up. It's an amazing, shattering performance that I continue to love.
Honorable Omissions: Amber Heard in "The Informers".